Smoked Chicken Chowder

While summer isn’t quite officially over yet, a change in the air is definitely afoot and the temperatures are slowly but surely starting to fall. I admit, I’m a bit of a stew girl. I love stews and as soon as it starts to feel cooler outside, I’m looking for my dutch oven and getting ready to bring on the stews!

This week was no exception. With the temperatures falling, gasp, into the 60s, I found myself craving something hot, comforting, and, well, stewy! What better way to fight off the cold than with a good bowl of stew? And what better sounding stew than one that’s called Smoked Chicken Chowder?

This stew is as hearty as it is flavorful and will undoubtedly make it to your top 10 stews ever. I first had this stew a few years back when an ex made this for me when we first started dating and from that very first time, I’ve been hooked. It’s easily become one of our favorite go-to stews and we’ve found the recipe to be extremely flexible and forgiving…we’ve tweaked it over the years to better suit our tastes.

Be prepared to have your friends and family swoon over you when you serve this little masterpiece. The smokiness is a lovely pairing to the chiles found in the stew and the cream based broth provides a nice, almost luxuriant, backdrop to the hot spices. We like to serve ours over some rice and to garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. This is the perfect way to end a chilly day!

Smoked Chicken Chowder
Adapted profusely from Gourmet | November 1995

Yield: Makes about 16 servings

Ingredients

3 medium onions, diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large russet (baking) potato
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 fresh jalapeño chilies, minced (wear rubber gloves)
5 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1 large can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 bell pepper
3 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 cup shredded cheese, about 4 ounces (I used Cabot’s Chipotle Sharp Cheddar)***
1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Parsley and cilantro for garnish

Preparation

In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook the onions in oil over moderate heat stirring, until softened. Peel and cut potato into 1/4-inch dice. Add potato, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño to kettle and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in flour, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.

Whisk in broth, milk, and heavy cream, and bring to a boil, stirring. Add both types of tomatoes, corn, cheese, parsley, chipotle, liquid smoke, spices, and chicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

We prefer ours served over some rice and garnished with fresh cilantro.

***Note: For cheese, you can use any variety cheese of your choice. We found that a spicier cheese such as pepper jack, Cabot’s chipotle, or Cabot’s habanero, complement this dish beautifully, however, milder cheese such as monterey jack or regular sharp cheddar work just as well.

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~ by tastydesu on September 17, 2010.

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